06 December 2013

All The Time In The World...

Once I feel in love with Sunshine.
Every spare moment I spent basking in her glow and warmth.

When the complications of autumn arrive and the clouds fill the sky,
I miss my Sunshine and her warm embrace.

No matter how dark the winter may be,
springtime always comes.

The seasons can't be rushed,
for they have all the time in the world.

Enjoy each day as if it's the last,
and embrace the warmth of the Sunshine.

17 October 2013

The Right Thing...

The funny thing about the right thing, is that the right thing isn't right for everyone. There is always someone that isn't going to agree with your decision. Especially when love is concerned. Is the right thing, wrong?

When love is in the air. No matter how great the passion, how great the attraction, how great the connection...eventually, one or both are going to get hurt. Even when you try to do the right thing.

Is it the right thing for the wrong reasons, or the wrong thing for the right reasons?

Even unintentional pain hurts.

07 August 2013

Dark Days...

Once , I met someone that changed my life. From that point on, the world was a different color.  The black cloud that followed me was gone. Sunshine filled my life.

The thing about sunshine is that even the smallest cloud can blot it out.

When you spend so much time with a dark cloud following you. And then you are surrounded by sunshine, it's easy to get hooked on the light. It's  an amazing change of pace. Then on the days when the sunshine is hiding behind a cloud you really miss it.  You get used to it being there. It's easy to forget what life was like when every day was cloudy and dark.

When you love sunshine, the dark days seem so much darker.

10 June 2013

My Greatest Fear...

The heart and emotions are funny things. Logic seldom plays a part in these matters. At least in my world. Love is what rules my life. More than anything else, I need someone to love, and someone that loves me. To hold and touch and kiss and...to keep loving. Today, tomorrow, always.

I have never really been able to make decisions with my head. Logic and common sense always go out the window. My heart jumps in. Emotions swirl about like a hurricane. Sparks fly and I lose control. All logic goes out the window.

I have tried several times to not follow love. Make more sensible choices. Love seldom lasts forever. One person, along the journey, changes their views. There needs change. There wants and desires change. Love fades. Sometimes it tries to changes and adapt. Sometimes things are just broken and can't be fixed.

At one point both halves of a couple are eager and excited to spend time together. Get to know the other persons secrets. What happens when there are no more secrets? What happens when the excitement dims? When the sparks no longer fly?

Love leaves us vulnerable. In order to love you have to be able to let down your walls and your guard. You have to open yourself up to unimaginable pain. Because with great pleasure comes great pain. In my life, love has always ended in great pain. It has almost always been worth it.

In the times of pain I swear I will never love again. I promise myself that I will never let my guard down. Never let anyone in as close again. Never let anyone else know all of your secrets. To never be vulnerable.

I have finally discovered that my greatest fear is not being alone, it's being vulnerable.

04 June 2013


They worked together. Saw each other every day for the most part. Smiles and eye batting. The occasional wink. She was hot and he was flattered. It was fun and innocent.

One day they were standing beside each other. He turned to say hello. Their eyes met, they held the gaze. Then she said, "You have the most beautiful eyes." he was positive that when she said it that her eyes sparkled. Like you see in the movies. a little spark of sunshine glistened in her eyes. he could almost hear the ting sound that goes with it. His pulse doubled, he took in a quick deep breath, and very softly said,
"Thank you." as he continued to look at her. Lost in her gaze. It was over in a second. They got interrupted and each went about their day.

He couldn't stop thinking about what he had seen. It was a spark. Her eyes sparkled.

03 June 2013


noun     a circumstance that complicates something; a difficulty: there is a complication concerning ownership of the site.• an involved or confused condition or state: to add further complication, English speakers use a different name.

"to add further complication..."
That's my personal favorite. 
As if you already had just enough complications, to add further, would just be too much?How much complication is enough? Is there a complications limit a person can hit, or do we just keep piling it on? Do we have to work through each complication before they go away or will some of them just fade away on their own?
"to add further complication, the spark has ignited a fire..."
Well, here's to further complications.

28 May 2013

Long Live The Batch Of '92...All Hail The Batch Of '13

Just for the record, and a little back story...I, in general, do not like potato salad. I do like potatoes, in a wide variety of forms and presentations. My problem with potato salad, is that no one knows how to make a good potato salad. 

Almost always they have way, way too much mayo. Or worse, Miracle Whip. yuk! Too much mustard is a common problem. Too lumpy, too dry, too bland, too crazy with wild ingredients. Anywhoo...I come from a long line of potato salad makers and eaters. My mother, grand mother, aunts(men in my family don't really cook) they all made their own version. They were all very proud but they just weren't quite right.

So when I took to teaching myself to cook in the mid to late 80's, one of my goals was to create the ultimate potato salad recipe. I too wanted to be able to enjoy what seemed to be an American tradition. Every holiday there was a potato salad of some sorts available. The grocery stores carry large tubs of the stuff for every day sale. The deli's across the country all have some type of potato salad available to the public.

I have tried hundreds of potato salads. Hundreds! And with out fail, 95% of them have been disappointing. 

It was in the year 1992, that after countless attempts at becoming the Potato Salad King of the West Coast. (claiming Salad Superiority over all west of the Mississippi) that I finally succeeded. The greatest batch of tater salad that had ever been created to that point in time had been made. It was heralded across the west as not just a salad but a master work of art. A meal unto itself. A joy to the senses.

From that point on, every batch of tater salad has been held up the standard of '92. But seeing as how tater salad making is not an exact science, each batch has it's own unique qualities that make a replica of '92 near impossible. At best they would be a pale comparison. No mater how good the current attempts, they would some how fall short of expectations. It was a common urban legend that the batch of '92 was a myth. That it didn't really exist, but it was rather a cruel joke played on tater salad lovers every where. Get there hopes up with dreams of '92 and then dash them away with some runny substandard store bought. 

Well kids, I hope you are all sitting down. Catch your breath. Wait for it.....

May I introduce, all of civilized humanity west of the Mississippi, to thee, "Batch of"13"


It has been done. It has been talked about for 21 years. Whispered about, no one daring to speak loudly as some one might hear talk of a challenge to the '92. No one would risk such ridicule. For surely, no one would attempt such a feet as to better the '92.

All except I. Yes, I, the creator of the now infamous batch of '92. For with every attempt, I think to myself that this could be it. This next batch could be the one that comes out of no where and takes the crown as the Greatest Batch of Tater Salad since the Batch of '92.

But on this day, not  only do I claim that this batch, the Batch of "13 is not only as good as the Batch of "92, but is better, than the legendary batch. Thus making this batch, The Batch of "13, the greatest batch of Tater Salad every created west of the Mississippi.

Hail the Batch of "13!

A perfect combination of flavors, textures, aromas...A culinary master work that shall live on through time as the greatest batch of tater salad ever created. No longer a side dish, for this potato salad can be eaten as a meal. Sides be dammed. From this day forward, all potato salads everywhere(west of the Mississippi) shall be held to this standard. For this is the perfection that all salad makers aspire to be. Marvel in the magnificence that shall for ever be referred to as...

The Batch Of '13.......

For those of you that would like to know what went into the batch of '13. Here is an ingredient list. However portions are a mystery as I create by taste and touch. Sorry.

russet potatoes
celery - small dice
yellow onion - small dice
hard boiled eggs
apple wood smoked bacon, cooked medium so it's still meaty
garlic jalapeno mustard
real mayonnaise
pickle relish
pepper corn blend - ground
sea salt - ground
garlic powder
cayenne pepper
red pepper flakes
season salt

15 May 2013

Killing Me Softly...

I keep telling myself that I'm doing it all for them. I have to keep telling myself. There is no other reason.

Four days of 13 hours. One day of 10 hours. By the time I get days off I'm so tired I collapse and spend much of my time off, asleep.

In the mornings I wake up a few minutes before Mr. Man goes to school. I take him. That's it. That's all I get to see the little guy today, or the next three days. I come home in time to hear,"Gotta go".
Sometimes I get a very quick, tight lipped peck. Passionless. Emotionless. Some day's all I hear is the "Gotta go" before I hear the door open and close as she leaves.

She talks about moving. Our future. Once in awhile She says things like, she loves me and that she cares. A few weeks ago she said I had a cute butt, as she grazed a cheek with the back of her hand.

That's as close as we get. A few minutes a day. As intimate as room mates.

That's it. Every day. Day after day. That's it. And it's killing me. Slowly killing me. Every day. Every time she says something even slightly caring. Every time she touches me then pulls away, it's killing me.

I don't know how to live a passionless life. I need to have a lover I can share with. I can hold and touch and kiss and know that it's "us" against the world trying to make a better life.

Instead I live alone with my child and his mom, and I'm working two jobs for 70 hours a week for practically nothing, and it's killing me.

14 May 2013


First, I should never write while I've been drinking. It always makes for awkward conversations later.
OK, even non drinking writing leads to awkward conversations but the former stands.

Second, I will never understand people as long as I live. Any of you. You are all a giant mystery to me. I used to think that I could read people pretty well. That was apparently a gift that can be lost when not used on a regular basis. Use it or loose it as they say.

Mainly I will never understand her. Her words and actions don't always mesh. I thought that I had been misunderstanding. OK, I'm very sure I have misunderstood much of what has happened but some if it has been in writing. I have it, ink on paper. I read things over and over and compare them to the things I hear. I compare them to the things I see. They don't go together.

Somewhere along the line, the rules have changed. The goals have changed. Everything seems to have changed. Except me. I don't feel like I've changed. Yet I realize that everything is speeding past me. Forever changing around me. It all seems to contradict itself. We want one thing but we ask for something else. Then seem confused when we get either.

I don't get it. Blissfully happy and unaware, then poof!

Sadly, love is not one of life's' constants. It does contradict itself as well as the people it devours.
There is no explaining love. It is what it is. It's fabulous and wonderful. Until it isn't.

06 May 2013

What's In A Name...

So I'm listening to a gallery manager and a gallery owner argue about names. Some of my paintings don't have names they have numbers. Like "Chadette no 38."

To me that is the name of the painting. Apparently, to some it's a sign unprofessionalism.

Besides all of that it made me wonder about the names I have used, and not used.

I have only used Theresa once. I have never used: Kim, Deloris, Trisha, Julie, Jeanie or Precious...

Kim was my first real love. She ended up breaking my heart. I dated several other Kim's. One owned a golf course. One had a mow hawk and was an awesome lover, although it was brief. One was a jockey.

Deloris was a teacher in high school, while I was a student.Although not my teacher.  OK, technically I was out of high school at the time but she was awesome. She had a beautiful 65 Mustang Fast back. A  wonderful metallic green. Her boy friend wrecked it. She taught me quite a bit.

I met Trisha Coffee at a party. We went to different high schools. She had just broken up with her high school stud. We talked, we made out. I saw her a few days later. I played the piano and made jokes and she laughed, we had fun. We went to the fair, where she ditched me when her stud showed up. She was only trying to make stud jealous. Which worked because they ended up back together. She was so hot.

Julie was a sports friend. She played softball while I played baseball. She was a tom-boy. She was cute and fun and she was killed in a car accident when she was 17. And I miss her.

And Jeanie...There has always been something about Jeanie. We have been off and on as long as we have know one another.

Precious asked me once if I thought Jeanie was "my one". 

Honestly I have never really thought of myself as having a "One". I go where my heart takes me. I really figured that Precious was "my one". Until recently, if there was going to be only one. It should have been Precious. Maybe I don't have a one. Maybe I missed my one. Or screwed up my one.

I have never named one after Precious or any of her names.

It's funny that I have a hard time naming my paintings after the women that have meant the most to me.

16 April 2013

Crack Heads...

On the chopping block today, we have two offerings. 

"Lost in Blues"  8x10 on canvas, from 2010. One of my favorites. I've been hanging on to her, but cracking must be done.


"Chadette No. 38" 5x7 on board from 2006, with a repaint in 2008,
 and another retouch in 2010...As always, if anyone has a name suggestion, I would love to hear it. Many of you have named my girls. You never know, if I like the name enough I just might give her to you. (If you want her)

This is the Cracking varnish. I was a little worried at this point. Then I realized the pattern was my shadow. (I really need to get more sleep) 
After several hours I was not seeing anything happening. No cracking, very little drying. Not much of anything. I broke out the heat lamp and had just started to blast them and speed things up when I caught a glimpse of the Martini I ruined a few weeks ago. I promptly turned off the heat lamp and walked away. It was a break through moment for me. Not to mention incredibly difficult. I had the hardest time not futzing with them. Bit I didn't. I let them dry on there own over night. Yes, overnight!

I couldn't see much cracking on either of them which kind of bummed me out. The varnish had dried and there was nothing else to do but see how they came out. A little Lamp Black, Cobalt Violet, and Burnt Umber. This part is always tense for me.

Holy Crack Heads Batman! They could not have come out better. I am so pleased. Both of them had cracked, a lot. Fine, well patterned, good spacing and crack distribution... Awesome!

I love the way she came out. The cracks across her face and neck have made her so much more beautiful. I really like the vertical crack across her lips and eye.

Crack is good.

28 March 2013

About Love...

Lately, more than any other time in my life so far, I find myself thinking about love. I have always believed that love was a simple thing. You find someone, you fall in love and you're happy together.
Until you're not...

Maybe it's that I never really thought about love. I mean really thought about it. Why should it be so simple? Love is complicated. Complex. Painful. And just because you love someone, doesn't mean that  person is going to love you. And even if they do love you, it might not be what you had in mind.

I had never realized that love is not the same for everyone. I always had it in the back of my mind that love, the way I understand it, was universal. Love is the same wants, needs, and desires in everyone. Except it's not...

Everyone is profoundly different. We all see things and situations differently. We react differently.
It's an odd revelation to find out you know very little about someone you have known for 13 years.
To believe you have an intimate understanding of an other human being.
Except you don't...

Everyday I see this person that I've been calling Precious, believing her to be a part of my very being. Closer to me than any other person has ever been. Then one day there is this large distance between the two. What was so simple, for me, had become complicated. The simplicity was gone. The ease at which we interacted had been disturbed. The part of me in which she possessed had been taken. Two people that had been together for so long were suddenly strangers with a common bond.

Everything became awkward. Communications and interactions were misunderstood and misinterpreted. Now I feel on edge in my own home. Like a visitor. Not sure how to act or behave. Questioning my role as partner and father. Not sure where to stand or what to say or when to be involved. At times it's like I'm living with a single mother and her child. I'm just there to help when I can with extra money and chores.
Like live in help...

Love is simple when it's new. It's easy. Natural. But like  most every thing else in life, love becomes more complex with time. Like wine. The older it gets, the better it is. Until it goes too far, and then it's vinegar.

Not everyone loves the same way. Love is not constant but changes over time. It grows, evolves, and like every thing else, it dies.

26 March 2013

The Problem With Crack...

So...I finally get back in my studio to work. Let;s forget that the place is a complete disaster area at the moment. I needed to work on something before my head exploded.


I began here. I spray painted a textured canvas with metallic gold. Then a layer of bright crimson red, leaving some of the gold to show through where I plan on putting one of my girls.

While that was drying I got the bright idea to crack a few of the older works. But which ones to sacrifice?

It is a sacrifice of sorts because I don't always know if it will work. The cracking process is not precise and anything can happen. You have to be willing to loose a painting. If the crack goes wrong, it's very difficult to save them.

I selected a Martini from 2009, my first Martini to be cracked, and a girl from 2005. The first layer is the Patina Varnish. It's difficult to see here, but it's there. Just have to let it dry a bit to the tacky stage.


Then after the Patina has started to dry, I put down a layer of the Cracking Varnish. Again, it's difficult to see here, but it's there. As it dries, it begins to crack. This is the hard part for me. I'm impatient. Temperate and humidity affect the rate and size of the cracks. It was cool and humid last night. I didn't feel like waiting like I should have. I know better. If you rush the crack you get crap. 

So of coarse I rushed it. I set up a heat lamp to speed the drying process.


I was very pleased with the girl. She was on board which I think changes things a bit but I have never really taken the time to study how the surface reacts to the varnish. The Martini however, bubbled on me. Anywhoo... 

After the Cracking Varnish has dried and cracked is the most frightening part for me. The toning. 

The entire surface has to be covered with paint. I use a towel in order to rub the color into the cracks. Then wipe it off. The paint sticks in the cracks and wipes away over the rest. Or, it's supposed to anyway.

It's at this point you get to see how you did. And I rushed it. The heat lamp makes the Cracking Varnish dry too fast. Making the cracks very large and bubbly. The poor cracks make for a poor surface to rub the toner color into and you end up with SHITE!

In this case I took a metal spatula and scraped a large area of varnish off the canvas. At this point it's pretty much toast. So I can play with it and see what I might be able to do with some alternate techniques. It was a fairly nice painting before I did this. It's the worst part of Crack for me. Some times they come out just right. Some times I am pleasantly surprised. And, Some times, I ruin a perfectly good painting. 

The girl however, maybe because of the different surface, Cracked very nicely. Took the toner well and come out generally the way I want.

One for two. It's all part of the process though. You have to take a few risks, in order to get the reward.

The reward here...I'm back in the audio...creating...dreaming...exploring...

05 March 2013

Beaten Puppies...

I have been standing in my studio at night. Almost every night for a couple of months now. Trying to let some of the pain out. Some of the torment I feel. To let any of the mixed emotions and anguish pour from me onto a canvas.

But I just stand there, staring in to a blankness that stares back. Taunting me. Daring me to take action. But nothing comes. The pain, and the loneliness build. I can feel the pressure inside. Everyday I wander farther into the darkness where light and sound have stopped. All I can hear are my own thoughts of longing and failure. Wondering how I will go on. How I will find happy again or how I might fake happy until I get there.

Every morning it takes all of my energy and effort to even climb out of bed and go on with my days.

We are still a part of each others day but the void grows. Fake it till you make it has only grown more fake. I wait patiently, trying not to push. Trying not to seem as pathetic as I feel. Like a puppy thats been beaten but still keeps coming back. Each time thinking if I can only love her more, that someday, somehow, she may love me again.

She doesn't look at me with love anymore. She tolerates me. She fakes it for him. Waiting until he might be old enough to explain what happened. Maybe someday she could explain it to me because I don't understand. Even through the hard parts I never gave up. I never doubted that I would love her forever.

I make this all sound like I have done nothing wrong but I know I did. I made mistakes. I said the wrong things, I did the wrong things. I drove her away. Everyday she spends near me she gets farther away.  My heart breaks more and more. More than I ever thought it could be broken. I miss her so much. Then pain has grown from emotional to physical. My body hurts inside and out.

I hate feeling like this. I wonder if I would be better off just disappearing, the way I used to back in the day. But I know I could never give him up or just walk away. I would rather live in pain with my heart in pieces than give up being a daily part of his life. She may be gone to me but he's still here. As long as I have him I know there is a shot at happiness someday.

Someday I know love will find me again. I know it may not be her, as much as hope it will be. She's the only one I can imagine spending my life with. She's the only one I can imagine loving. Time will tell. It always does. Time will not heal all wounds. Some pain will never go away. It scars over and gets pushed to the back of our minds until someday we can almost forget. Someday we can almost forgive.

Some days I blame myself. Some days I blame her. Most days I blame her. I think she gave up me but I don't know why. I try to think about the people I have loved and then stopped loving. What made me change? Why did my feelings for them stop?

We work opposite hours. Her days, me nights. We see each other about a half an hour a day before she goes to work.  Each night when I come home my pulse quickens just a bit as I open the garage door. There is a slight sigh of relief when I see her car there. She hasn't packed and left me, yet. They're both in bed. I sneak in so I wont wake them. Some nights I stand in the hall way in the darkness just staring at them while they sleep. I go form room to room sitting on the edge of their beds listening to them breathe. Sometimes for hours. I wake up with the hope that it's all been a dream and that I will find my best friend, my lover that used to be happy to spend every moment near me. And when I find that it wasn't a dream I try to throw on my happy face anyway. I don't want him to know how sad I am that I lost her. I don't want him to see the pain that love can bring because I know what joy love can bring and that's what I want him to believe in. I want him to believe in love, because even with all of the pain I still believe in love.

I spend each day trying to be happy and be the person that she fell in love with, hoping and praying that one day she will look at me and remember what we had.

It makes me wonder most days. Was everything just a fantasy? Was any of it real? Maybe I just imagined our entire lives together. Maybe we were never as happy and in love as I remember us being. I do tend live in a fantasy. It's possible that she never loved me the way I remember. Our entire lives could have happened in my mind. Did I fall in love with her or the fantasy I had of her?

I spend so much time wondering what I did wrong. Wondering how I can fix it. Trying to forget that you can't make someone love you. They do or they don't. And she doesn't. But if I only love her more she might love me again. Then I wonder how long I can hang on to what's left.

Even the worst day with her in it, is better than a good day with out her...

21 February 2013

3rd Grade Versification...

"Since I am me I would go weee! 
If I kissed the girl I liked.
Since I am me I would go weee!
If the girl I liked kissed me."

He showed this to his teacher on Valentines Day. The next day I got an email telling me that this was borderline inappropriate for a third grader.

My first reaction was, WOW! We talked about it at home. He claims it's not about anyone in-particular. We encouraged his writing and the sharing of said writing with us. And maybe he should keep a few things for home life and not share them at school.

Borderline inappropriate or not, I thought it was awesome.

Why do I feel like parenting just got a lot more complicated?

19 February 2013

And, It's Back...

After a six month hiatus, we are please to announce that CHADSPICKNALL.COM is back on-line!


Now if only the studio was in such good condition...


04 February 2013

Not Who I Appear To Be..

How well do you know yourself? How much time do you spend looking at yourself in the mirror?  Do you look the way you think? 

Have you ever looked at yourself in a photograph, and thought,"That's not the way I look.!" or "I don't take good photos."

Except...That is the way you look. 

It's not the photo, it's you.

I was looking at myself in the mirror the other day and thought, I look pretty good. Later that day I saw a photo of myself taken that same day. My first thought was, "WOW, what a horrid photo. How did they catch me in such bad light?

Later that day I glanced at myself in the mirror again. That's when it hit me. The person looking back at me isn't me.

Ok, it is me. But I'm the only living human being that sees 'mirror me'. The rest of the world, sees 'photo me'. 

In the mirror, everything about me, in reality, is backward. I see my hair parted on the left, but it's really parted on the right. I see my rings and ear rings on my right hand and right ear. But they're really on the left. The scar I see on my left cheek is really on my right. When I smile, I see the right side of my face go a little higher than the left, except it's the left side that goes higher.

I only see mirror me. Everyone else, sees photo me.

Everything I thought I knew about myself and the way look is backwards. 

What if other things I thought about myself are backwards too?

I think I'm a good person. A some what talented artist, writer, cook, family man, athlete, intelligent, witty, attractive... a bit of a renaissance man.  

What if I have it backwards. Maybe it's just mirror me that's this guy, and photo me is merely delusional.

I can't see photo me. What else have I been looking at backwards? What else about have I been wrong about.

I see myself one way. The world sees the reverse of that. Does that apply to my actions and thoughts too? When I do things I think are cute or funny, is the world seeing it that way too?

I had never really given any prolonged thought to things that have been said to me or the way the world have reacted to me at times. 

Maybe they were seeing photo me when I was being mirror me. They would have seen the reverse of what I thought I was doing or saying.

Now I am completely confused as to which person I am. For much of or all of my life I have been thinking I was mirror me. In reality I was always photo me. The problem now is that I don't know who photo me is. He's a stranger to me. And photo me has me questioning how well I know mirror me. Maybe I don't know either me at all and I have no idea who I really am.

I used to look in the mirror and see Mr. Incredible. Now when I look, I see Bob.